There’s No Other Explanation
Dick and Rick Hoyt are endurance athletes. To date they have completed at least seventy- two marathons and six Ironman Triathlons.
Imagine the difficulty of running a marathon, or 26.2 miles. More difficult still is an Ironman Triathlon, which involves a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bicycle ride, and a 26.2 mile run; all back-to-back without breaks.
To complete one such endurance event is pretty amazing. “Team Hoyt,” however, competes as very few other teams do.
Rick has cerebral palsy. When they compete his father, Dick, pulls him in a boat as they swim, carries him in a seat mounted to their bicycle as they ride, and pushes him in a wheelchair as they run.
Their athletic partnership began in 1977 when Rick asked his father, who was not a runner, if they could run a race together. Dick did not hesitate to say yes. He began to train by pushing a wheelchair with a sack of concrete in it.
Why would a father push himself to the very edge of physical limits, not just once but dozens of times? Why would he move beyond community “fun runs” to marathons and Ironman Triathlons? Because after their first race Rick told his father, “Dad, it felt like I am not handicapped.” They have been swimming, cycling, and running together ever since.
Dick Hoyt punishes his own body in each grueling endurance event so that his son, who has never walked, might experience the joy of swimming, cycling, and running. He does it all for the joy that his son receives. They compete in event after event because Dick loves his son “with all his heart, all his mind, all his soul, and all his strength.” At least that is what I conclude when I consider their story. I can think of no other explanation.
Why Do we do what we do?
Why do we do the things we do in service to Jesus? Why do we sacrifice time and resources for the cause of Christ? Why do we accept responsibility for a particular area of need within the life of our church? Why do we give to our church budget, to missions, to our effort to eliminate debt, or to any other area of church need?
I trust your answer is, “Because I love Jesus with all my heart, all my mind, all my soul, and all my strength.”
Our relationship with Jesus is a matter of the heart. Nobody should ever serve out of guilt. We should never resort to manipulation or coercion to recruit individuals to serve or give. We should never accept a place of responsibility out of compulsion.
Every act of ministry or service within Alsbury should be fulfilled out of our deep love for Jesus and out of our appreciation for all that he has done for us. Everything we do should be prompted by love.
When love is our motivation we serve with joy even if the challenge is great. When we are inspired by love we see each opportunity to serve as a privilege rather than a task.
I witnessed this reality Friday evening when hundreds poured their hearts and lives into our honored guests for Night to Shine. People sacrificed their time and resources and many worked for days on end so that our guests would experience one night of pure joy. I sensed it was all done out of a deep love for Jesus. That same love for Jesus should be the catalyst behind everything we do at Alsbury.
This Sunday we will discover what Jesus thinks in most important in life. I look forward to opening the Scripture with you at 9:00 and 10:30.